Arrival, a British startup that plans to offer electric vans and buses beginning later this year, will join U.S. and Chinese EV companies with billion-dollar valuations when it merges with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal that will value it at about $5.4 billion. With backing from investors including Hyundai, Kia and the logistics giant UPS, Arrival says it will sell electric vans at the price of an equivalent diesel model, built in flexible “microfactories” to keep costs down. Avinash Rugoobur, Arrival’s president and a former head of strategy at General Motors’ Cruise self-driving division, explained to Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs why that multibillion-dollar valuation is justified.
Arrival is about to list in the U.S. via a SPAC. Are you worth $5.4 billion?
Absolutely. If you see who has invested -- Hyundai and Kia, UPS, Blackrock -- that is really about technology and the capability of what we are doing. What matters is that the market is huge. The whole global vehicle parc will be transformed to electric. We are making commercial vehicles, but even that is $430 billion worth of vans and buses globally. The product we are creating will be best in class in terms of weight and total cost of ownership, and at a price point that is competitive with diesel. That is an inflection point. It’s a no-brainer.